The young adolescent learner is in a unique and distinctive phase of development, and as such requires a developmentally responsive educational program delivered by specially prepared middle level educators. The purpose of this qualitative mixed methods study was to compare current California policies for middle school teacher licensure and preparation programs with the most recent research on young adolescent development. A second purpose of this study was to investigate the design and implementation of middle school specific teacher preparation programs in California in relation to the most recent research on young adolescent development. The findings of this study indicate that the young adolescent student is in a unique phase of development, which requires a specialized developmentally responsive educational program, delivered by specifically prepared teachers. The evidence further demonstrates that strong middle level teacher preparation programs, such as the program at CSU San Marcos, are designed to prepare teachers to address these complex developmental needs of the young adolescent student. An additional finding was that the current California teacher licensure and preparation requirements have not kept pace with the research on the young adolescent learner and are thereby misaligned with the best practices determined for this age group. A restructuring of the policies for California teacher licensure and preparation requirements to align with the research on best practices for the young adolescent learner is recommended. The voluminous body of research on the young adolescent learner consistently demonstrates the need for developmentally responsive schools staffed by specially prepared middle level educators. The current licensing and teacher preparation systems in place in California are poorly coordinated with known best practices and, are failing to meet the needs of the middle level learner. There is a need for restructuring of schooling for the young adolescent learner in California, including the method for preparing and licensing teachers for the middle level, in order to provide developmentally responsive schools.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Middle school teachers -- California; Adolescent psychology -- California; Teachers -- Training of
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Hart, Rodas Paula, "A comparative analysis of middle level teacher preparation and certification in California" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 568.